I was raped by eight U.S. male soldiers over the course of the 2004 summer in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan. I did not report this until after it started affecting my mental health. I met with the CID agent who proceeded to show me a big red law book (which I am sure was outdated) after grilling me for the better part of two hours. According to the “outdated” definition of rape, I had to write a statement and indicate that according to the outdated definition, I was not raped. I even included the words “outdated.” I was medevac’d out and returned home for treatment after several suicide attempts. I never received justice because of the “good-ole-boy” system.
I want everyone to take note: this has affected my life and the lives of my loved ones immensely. The snippets of “screenshots” of memory leaves scent triggers and with that is the emotional attachment that lasts for hours, if not days. I locked myself in my house for 15 years except to go to doctor’s appointments. March 29, 2018, I decided to start living outside of fear and took back control of myself with the help of friends. Although I can get outside to activities (lasting no longer than 3 hours), I still suffer immensely. My behavior is erratic most of the time due to the social anxiety and lack of trust these experiences have left with me. I get so angry when the government talks about change and zero tolerance. Nothing has changed except the people talking. I was reading about rape prevention… that is a laugh because there is no such thing. If a perpetrator has a desire or is so compelled to do that, they will. Sure, you can be taught self-defense and how to be more alert, which is a deterrent, but as stated before, if there is a will, there is a way. What needs to happen is to start prosecuting them using a better system. Right now, MSA causes MST and is not, from my research, discussed. Collateral damage needs to be discussed. MSA or rape laws need actually be enforced. This is a life sentence for the victims and their loved ones. I only reported one soldier because I was treated like I was the criminal. Maybe the government should stop that practice.